The Cotton Bowl Classic

As a semifinal game for the NCAA football season, the Cotton Bowl will berth one of two teams for the National Championship.

Who will play in the 2019 Cotton Bowl of College Football?

College Football Bowl Season

The 2019 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will be hosted at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The anticipated matchup will consist of big name collegiate outfits in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Clemson Tigers. The Clemson Tigers defeated Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship Game, completing an 8-0 conference and 13-0 total game record season. The Fighting Irish gained a bid following a 12-0 record during their independent campaign.

The History of College Football’s Cotton Bowl

The Cotton Bowl Classic, known more informally as the Cotton Bowl, has been held annually in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since Jan. 1, 1937. The bowl was first televised in 1953 by NBC.

For a period of more than 50 years from its inception, the Cotton Bowl hosted the champion of the Southwest Conference (SWC) against an invited SEC team or major independent until the dissolution of the SEC in 1996.

From 1999-2014, the Cotton Bowl hosted a runner-up from the Big 12 Conference against a Southeastern Conference (SEC) team, and the game was televised on FOX. Since 2010, it has been held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

When the College Football Playoff (CFP) was formed in 2014, the Cotton Bowl served as one of six rotating bowl games to host the CFP, and the bowl hosted a national semifinal following the 2015 and 2018 regular season.

ESPN took over the TV and radio rights to broadcast the game in 2015, and that year’s matchup produced the highest-scoring Cotton Bowl in history as Michigan State rallied from a 20-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Big 12 co-champion Baylor, 42-41.

Prior to 1965, the polls crowned their champions before the bowl games. However, the 1965 Cotton Bowl produced a controversy with undefeated Arkansas defeating Nebraska after Alabama had already been awarded the championship for that season. Alabama lost to Texas in the 1965 Orange Bowl, but were able to retain their claim to the national title. This created the urgency to change the practice of awarding the national championship prior to the bowl games. A new system, which waited to crown a champion until the conclusion of all bowl games, was installed the next season. Coincidentally, Arkansas was led by their co-captain Jerry Jones in 1965, the same man who would go on to build AT&T Stadium more than four decades later as the current home of the Cotton Bowl.

The 2018 Cotton Bowl is part of the College Football Playoff hosting the national semifinal game between Clemson and Notre Dame. It will be the fourth straight Cotton Bowl without a Big 12 entrant. Clemson is making its second appearance in the Cotton Bowl Classic while Notre Dame is making its eighth.


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